Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Orchard Fun!

We decided to brave the cold this weekend and headed out to an orchard with the girls. This was difficult for me on a number of fronts:

1) It was seriously cold--like real feel 32 degrees. Brrr.
2) I have a huge issue with any Minneapolis-ish orchards. They are SO overpriced compared to good old Gays Mills.
3) Also, no ones apple donuts stack up. Not even close.

But it was a fun adventure, and they do have some features not available in Vernon County--like a petting zoo, and train rides.



They also had a CRAZY slide that started at the top of a silo. Tillie got to the top and said: "no thanks".

Bea got to the top and essentially said: "oh yeah, this is happening."

So Nate launched her down the slide and I did my best to catch her as I felt the pressure of every single parental eyeball on me silently judging us for sending such a small kid down the slide. But the second her feet hit the ground, she was running to do it again. The kid is crazy.


Bea is still going through a serious Daddy stage, so she was extremely unhappy anytime his full attention wasn't on her. Here is Nate and Tillie going on a nice fall stroll through the orchards---next to me (behind the camera) is a wailing 18 month old who is screaming Mama at the top of her lungs (because she calls Nate that....)...and will not, I repeat, will NOT let me pick her up.




Best part (ok, one of the best parts) of the orchard---loads of fresh air and wide open fields for running which of course meant good long naps for the little ones. :)



Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Simple Joys of Grass

We were without a yard, or any sort of landscaping this summer as we waiting patiently (ok, at times not so patiently) for our landscaping to go in.

It is officially in, and we could not be happier. First, it is truly the completion of the new home project. Second, it was a straight up dust bowl all summer long, combined with the constant battle of Beatrice shoving fistfuls of dirt in her mouth anytime you let her outside.

Third....this.




The joys of being able to run and roll and sit and play in our backyard had yet to be realized. And now that they are here, they are oh so joyous. We got a couple of good nights of playing in before the cold is supposed to come. We look forward to sledding, and building snowmen and snow angels in the coming months. Because lets face it we will see more months with white stuff than this beautiful brand new lawn.

(seriously, this lawn. i took my shoes off and just walked around on it forever. Velvety. Yum)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

One of a Kind

It was a very sad day today we we said good-bye to the Teskey Family. Sina and Ryan moved next door to us about 5 years ago and as Sina and I both say: "instantly knew we wanted to be each others friends."

As luck would have it, and as the now long-running joke goes, Sina is to my Nate as I am to her Ryan. More often than not when we would be talking/venting/laughing about something ridiculous in our lives, we would find ourselves saying that we would have totally responded like the other spouse.

Perhaps that is why it always seemed so easy, and natural and as if we had been friends forever. We both found our friend equivalent of our spouse. But with all the benefits that a really good girlfriend brings with it, that sometimes a husband just doesn't get (like when you just need a good cry, or the total understanding that our kids help distract each other).

We bonded over Packers and brats, gardening, books, cooking, kids and everything in between.

5 years and 4 kids later (each almost too perfectly spaced 11 months apart), the Teskey's are WI bound for an amazing opportunity for their family. I am so excited for them and all it will bring. Of course I am jealous at their proximity of the Badgers and Packers, but all the more reason to get together.

But oh, how I am going to miss them. Sina was my 'cup of sugar', my 'wanna walk to get the kids?', my 'its last minute but want to go for a walk at 8PM because i had a super shitty day'. The Teskey's embedded themselves into our lives like famiy. Easy. Simple. Comfortable.

The void will never be totally filled, and it will be felt by all (including Bea who already loves trying to keep up with Elena!). I have already started my countdown for the return that was promised (what 5-8 years from now? :)) and know we will easiy pick up right where we left off.

Now, to start scouting for two perfect lots to build right next to each other.....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Case of the Mondays

After a weekend that was equal parts fun, and equal parts draining as Bea was just not herself, At all, in any way---I shouldn't have been surprised that as I pulled into the General Mills parking lot, got out my phone from the trunk to see that I already had a call from Bea's daycare room.

8:28AM on a Monday. Literally did not even make it into the building.
"she has spots on her hands?"
"Hand foot and mouth is going around?"
"Yes, I will come right back and get her."

Back into the car, through rush-hour traffic, to daycare, to the doctor we go.

And it was in this moment that I was reminded of another reason why I should never be excited to see summer slip away---it brings cold, flu and apparently Hand Foot and Mouth season.

And after enduring a solid 90 minutes of crying from Bea, combined with chucking of every single thing I offered her to eat or drink (including ice cream!), I seriously questioned if I would ever survive adding a 3rd child to this mix.

Bea then took a 2.5 hour nap, allowing me to feed myself at 1:45PM(which hadn't yet happened, unless you count an apple), check email and stare at a wall. Then she woke up and screamed for another 45 minutes until I put up my white flag and texted Sina who said--load her up, let's go to the park (a bonus to having a friend whose kid also has Hand Foot and mouth).

Life looked a little sunnier again. Until we picked Tillie up from school and she says her tongue hurts, and wait a second...is that?....yes, yes it is. Tillie also has Hand Foot and Mouth.

And thus concludes my Monday. Well, that and a big bowl of the ice cream that Bea refused.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tillie Talks

Tillie and I were recently playing hide-and-seek and she was hiding behind the curtain, and as I was doing my standard: "hmmm, where could she be?" routine, I stopped and said: "Wait a second, what is that? Are those toes?" At which point i started tickling her until she giggled and then she said:
"I want you to put socks on me so you can't find my toes"

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On a recent warm day, I plopped the girls into the car after daycare and Tillie demanded:
"Mama, turn the coolers on!"

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A recent favorite game is Tillie assigning everyone a 'role'--she is usually the Mama or Daddy, Bea is usually the puppy, and that leaves Nate and I to be the 'babies....' yes. Poor Bea.  Well in one such game, Matilda put Nate and I (the babies) 'to sleep' and then just proceeded to play. So Nate and I were laying on the ground half-covered with baby sized blankets, and started talked about our days and Tillie YELLS: "Stop Talking BABIES! I am talking first."

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Bea and Tillie like to play with the kitchen food, and are often serving us food. Matilda brings me a plastic mushroom, and tells me it is ice cream. Nate jumps in and says: "i want ice cream! What flavors do you have?" To which Matilda responds (after much thought): "I have chocolate or no chocolate ice cream."
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Matilda got to watch  movies with her cousins when we were on vacation in Hayward. We watched the Lion King and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. About a week after vacation, we were talking about them, and asked her what they were about. Here was her assessment:

(Lion King):
There was a big chase, the dad dies, and then the lion grew and grew until they sang Hakuna Matata.

(Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs):
Meatballs fall from sky, and go boom.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lucky #3

It is time to make this news blog official: Nate and I are excited to announce that we are adding another little one to our family. Baby #3 is due January 20th, and (I believe) will complete the family.

What I have found so interesting this pregnancy is that throughout the 'becoming public' process there is some significant consistency among the responses of the people that we tell. And it starts to separate based on how many kids they have.

Telling a person with zero kids they say "congratulations?" like its a question. They aren't really sure if this is an appropriate response or not because they are most likely just confused as to why we continue to reproduce.

Telling a person with 1 kid, you get a "congrats, Wow (pause) that was fast (pause) you guys are crazy). I don't blame this person for pulling the crazy card out. I remember when I was rock/swaying/bouncing Matilda at the park and watching my friend Summer chase two boys around while she was 7 months pregnant and thinking the same exact thing (and also thinking that she was superwoman and put me to shame).

But the reality (or least the one I am learning) is that once you get through the transition, you settle into a new normal. And yes, that normal might be a little crazy to someone not acclimated, and YES there are still days where I literally think I will lose it if one more person melts down over being given the wrong sippy cup.....but Nate and I always say we are playing the long game, and once we are through the baby stage we will be so happy we have 3.

Telling a person with 2 kids, you immediately get this question: "Was it planned?" or "Were you trying?". As if they are hoping the answer is no and yes respectively so that they can ensure our sanity is in tact, because there really isn't any other explanation for it in their minds. To be fair, we are on a rapid timeline---we will have 3 kids, aged 3 or under for 6 months. That is a lot of baby, pregnancy and all that goes in between in a very short amount of time. But for those of you wondering--yes it was planned. :) After they hear our answer, it's followed up with the age-old classic: "You guys are going to be busy...."


The reality is, I don't like the baby stage. And that isn't a secret. I told Nate that if we were going to go through with this 3 business, we had to do it before I lost the courage or before 2 became 'too easy.'

So here we are, counting down to Baby 3 or should I say, Baby Clifford, as Matilda has named it. Don't be fooled by the name, we don't know what the gender is. We decided not to find out, though a little piece of me dies every time I think about it and know we could know. Who would have though that the girl who used to sneak to try to find her birthday presents, would be able to wait almost 9 months for the surprise.

Secretly, (or in my case not so secretly) we are both hoping for another girl. I think we both just envision that as our family and obviously we know girls. But, if a little boy arrives this winter, I am sure that will immediately feel right as well. Either way it will be a surprise and we will enjoy welcoming him or her to our little (and growing) family.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Deerfoot Lodge Vacation

Another trek up to Hayward with the fam is done, and it didn't disappoint. Sure, as the kids get older the cabin may start to seem smaller--but that is what the lake is for, right? Oh, and the boat!

I was VERY worried about Bea this year because a) she has no fear around water and I was certain she would drown at least once this week and b) she is a dirt/sand/mud eating machine and I was certain that the entire week would be spent chasing her, telling her no, and washing her mouth out

And neither of those things happened, so apparently my certainty is no longer meaningful.


Matilda had an absolute BLAST with her cousins. MAN, does she love those boys. She calls them her 'cousin brothers'. It was fun to see her and Leo activate their imaginations together--merging Matilda's game of "you are the baby, I am the mama" with Leo's "there is a tiger on the loose and I am a ninja to stop it". Essentially this game turned into Leo and Matilda being the mom and dad of a tiger baby.

Leo and Finn loved being on the boat this year, Matilda--not as much, unless the boys were on board then she was all smiles. Leo caught a huge "bask" fish and every time he told the story the fish got bigger--i think by the end of the week it was bigger than Matilda.



There was LOTS of fun in the sand and water and jumping of the dock (and lily pad). Which we all loved because the water was shallow enough, for far enough that the kids could kind of play without too much oversight.








And of course, no trip to Hayward would be complete without a stop at Tremblays--the store my dreams are made off. After about 5 minutes of being there, Tillie excitedly proclaimed: "Mama, we were here last year!"--like it was one of her first legit memories. Very cute. She got to pick out FIVE whole pieces of candy, and I think she thought she was the richest girl in the store (meanwhile, I think I bought about a pound and a half of everything carmely, chocolately, taffy, and more).




My motherly pride went up a tick when Matilda started to rebrand a "kiddie cocktail" a "Cherry Bucket"...clever, right? Well, she got about 3 of them out of old PopPop. Bea on the other hand, got to suck back a few drinks of my virgin bloody mary...spicy, but she still took it. :)

It was a good week--and a good excuse for me to drag out my good camera and get some decent shots of the fam!